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Books, Fresh and Juicy

Not long after I started toting library books to my grandchildren’s houses, one of my daughters gave me a gift: a sturdy canvas bag with wide handles and, on the side, a photograph of my three grandchildren and me reading. I treasure the bag, not just because of the photo, not just because of the […]

On Jessica Angotti’s “Committing the Crime Without Doing the Time” (from 2010)

“Based on my observations, it seems children find a loophole. Straddling reality and fantasy allows them to keep one foot in the story, dancing all night and getting into trouble, and the other one out, avoiding time-outs or bed without dinner. This hokey-pokey stance gives young readers the best of both worlds; in for the […]

Mr. Slinger wows again

Recently I had a little talk with my two four-year-old grandchildren. All talks with four-year-olds are by definition little. Preschoolers aren’t ready for marathon discussions. For one thing, marathon discussions tend to happen late at night when they’re asleep, and for another, their favorite topics don’t support extended discourse. That is, they might be deeply […]

“Her Kid Held Up a Book. You’ll Never Guess What This Mother Did Next.”*

(*Note on this post’s title: I’ve had so-called “clickbait” on my mind since I’ve been listening to podcasts about the effects of social media on journalism and politics. I thought I’d try it out. Wow. It’s annoying, but it is a little bit of a thrill to get sensationalistic for a moment. Anyway…back to the […]

Using technology to mix up read-alouds

At a recent literacy conference, I was introduced to an online resource called Storyline Online. Created by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, Storyline Online provides animated videos of picture books that are read by actresses, actors, and other well-known individuals. In addition to the videos, there are also activity guides to accompany each book, which […]

Stuck on Post-Its

Still hanging onto their summer tans and beach weather, most people dread that time of year when the big, red “BACK TO SCHOOL” signs appear plastered on the doors of CVS, Staples, and Walgreens. I was never of that ilk; I’ve always loved the opportunity to buy school supplies, and start my year off fresh […]

Back-to-school books

Down South sometimes we do things a little differently… like starting back to school in early August. So while many a teacher is still enjoying their summer vacation until after Labor Day, my first day of school was a week ago. To me, the first days of school are some of the richest times for […]

Curious George Gets High

I try to read quality new picture books to my Pre-K students, often using Horn Book recommendations as a guide (shameless plug). That being said, classic stories and characters are still highly popular among the children and thus get read frequently as well. Often we find things in classic literature that we don’t come across […]

Reading a book you dislike

For about ten years now, I have taught Pre-K. One of my favorite parts of the job is reading stories to the children during circle time. I am far from a great entertainer, but I try my best to make the stories entertaining or engaging to the children in some way; however, making a story […]

The queen of all biographies

“What?! You can’t stop reading there!” bellowed one of my second graders as I shut our read-aloud book and left the main character, Annie Taylor, sealed in a barrel and about to reach the precipice of Niagara Falls. I smiled at his uncontainable outburst and began soliciting predictions about whether Annie would survive her madcap […]